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High-Speed Rail is Crucial to Our Future

So far, the primary focus of the Metro Cincinnati project has been rapid transit and streetcar service within the Greater Cincinnati region. However, intercity rail connections between Cincinnati and other Midwestern cities cannot be ignored, and we strongly support the construction of those rail connections and the development of a nationwide high-speed rail system. Cincinnati is located at the junction of two high-speed rail corridors, one from Cincinnati to Chicago and the other from Cincinnati to Cleveland, and stands to benefit greatly from high-speed rail in the Midwest. Additionally, Cincinnati is poised to serve as a hub for conventional trains serving Lexington, Louisville, Pittsburgh, and other cities.

High-speed rail corridor designations. (U.S. Department of Transportation)

When discussing high-speed rail, it’s impossible to neglect the TGV system in France, which has been operating the fastest trains in the world for over thirty years. Although the site hasn’t been updated in a number of years, TGVweb is a valuable resource that explains the TGV system in great detail. It’s worth a visit for anybody who has an interest in high-speed rail. French TGV trains operate at speeds of up to 218 MPH, and in over 30 years, have yet to suffer a passenger fatality due to an accident (and this includes a couple of derailments at high speed).

In 2007, the SNCF demonstrated the full potential of high-speed rail by breaking the world speed record and operating a train at almost 320 MPH. Here is the video from that feat. (Embedding the video has been disabled; click the image below for the YouTube page.)